Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Major Oil Company Rep Says, "Get Ready For $4-$5 A Gallon Gas! Too Many People Are Too Fat Or Too Dumb To Get Into The Military! HAPPY 2011!!!

Hi everybody and here's hoping 2011 is better for all of us than 2010 has been.

Before I go any further, here's a heads-up for you regular and once in a while readers of this labor of love of mine.

Because of an unavoidable time consuming obligation that might last as long as a month, this figures to be my last blog until January 26th or February 2nd. If I get lucky, it will be sooner than that. And yes, this obligation is a "good thing". Meanwhile, please check in Thursday or later each of the next few weeks and when you see a new headline, you'll know I have returned to my computer.

Because we're all still remembering the good things about Christmas and getting ready for all that is associated with the beginning of a new year, this blog figures to be relatively short, but because I can never be sure about anything until I stop typing, let's see what happens.

CHRISTMAS:

I hope it was your best ever and I hope you don't have to do too much dieting because of all that good and fattening food you ate. And for those of you where all those snow storms have been, I hope you were able to get to where you wanted to go for Christmas. Here in the Los Angeles area, we had to deal with a lot of rain that was a nuisance as far as driving and (in my case) daily long walks go, but it was also good for our water supply.

NEW YEAR'S EVE:

While a lot of you will be getting dressed up for a nice evening and when midnight comes, having the excuse to kiss everyone in sight, I hope you get a chance to check out the radio show I'll be involved with on CRN that afternoon at 4, Pacific Time. I'll be on the air with CRN owner Mike Horn and his cast of characters on what is the fastest hour on radio. To hear us, click onto http://www.crntalk.com/ and I guarantee you a few laughs and some things you didn't expect to hear. And when that happens, please know that we didn't expect us to hear it either.

NEW YEAR'S DAY! AND BEYOND:

When you wake up New Year's Day, some of you will have the mother of all headaches. Been there, done that, haven't had a drink for 20+ years. But I can damn sure relate.

While doing whatever it takes to remove the head pain, a lot of you will be watching college football Bowl games. The next day, which is a Sunday, some big NFL games will be played, so that might give some of you an excuse to have or to attend another party.

And then Monday, January 3rd, we go back to work and hope that 2011 will be better than 2010 was, because after all, it certainly couldn't be any worse.

Or could it?

2011:

I've been telling you that after the first of the year, we can expect higher gas prices. Probably a lot higher. It appears that the raising of those prices (again) got underway a couple of days ago. And yesterday, we heard from a Shell Oil executive that we need to get ready for gas prices that may go where they've never gone before. $4 a gallon. Followed by $5 a gallon. Followed by....???

And this will happen WHEN?!? I don't think anyone knows. Just drive by your favorite gas station each day and while holding your breath, look to see what the prices are.

How did this happen and or why is it happening? Combination of things. The devaluation of the dollar, deregulation, I could go on and on, but basically it's all part of reckless and in some cases possible illegal moves made by financial folks who have been allowed to do pretty much whatever they felt like doing.

You know those nice banks and financial instutions that were "bailed out" by us, the taxpayers? When they got their "bailout" money, they immediately went back to "business as usual" by handing out exorbitant bonuses to bank and financial institution executives while us taxpayers scratch our heads and say, "If you're going to treat me THIS way, couldn't you at least have taken me to dinner and a show before you bleeped me?"

QUESTION:

Why in the hell has no banker or Wall Street person been forced to walk the plank. And if you don't know what I mean by that, I'll say it another way; Why haven't handcuffs been placed on some of these out of control financial bastards?

MEANWHILE:

Home prices are falling again. Food prices continue to rise at a rapid rate. Senior citizen retirees haven't received Social Security cost of living increases in (I think 2-years, maybe more) and a large number of these same retirees are getting whacked with Medicare monthly increases of $100 and higher.

CAN'T THE MEDIA SOUND THE ALARM?

We know what Sarah Palin likes to say, right? The "lame-stream media"? Sarah Palin, who quit her job as Governor of Alaska, but who has people believing she would be a terrific chief executive. As in President of the United States. Right now, she's a major paid contributor at Fox News. In her mind, every news organization except Fox News is part of the "lame-stream media".

FACT:

Fox News has more viewers than all the other talk show networks combined. In reality, that makes Fox News the REAL "Main-stream media"! And what is Fox News focused on today? A debate hosted by Tucker Carlson about President Obama saying he's glad Michael Vick was given a second chance and Carlson stating he thinks Vick should have been executed because of the dogs who got killed in those illegal dog fights Vick was backing.

Yeah. And looking at the real problems we're facing, someone want to tell me how "main" or "lame" the Vick subject is?

CONTINUING OUR LOOK TOWARDS 2011, WE BRING UP THE SUBJECT OF "EDUCATION" AND THE MILITARY:

I could use fancy words here, but I'm gonna make this real simple. Like the good folks at Fox like to do.

The military is having a problem that is a big concern to them because we no longer have the draft and we have to rely on new recruits who voluntarily join the military. The ages 17-24 were isolated in a recent survey and what that poll tells us is that 75% of the people who were volunteering got rejected by the military because of (at least) one of three things; They had a criminal record, they didn't graduate from high school and or they were way overweight. The other 25%? 23% were unable to pass basic math or were unable to READ the military tests.

ALARM BELLS, ALARM BELLS, ALARM BELLS!!!

What do we really learn from a poll like this? We are allowing our children to get fat which can give them a boatload of medical problems in the future. We are sending our kids to school where teachers are allowing them to graduate even if they can't read or solve elementary math problems. And that causes what? A next to zero opportunity for that child to succeed in the workplace.

TWO SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS:

Kick some serious ass by firing a lot of teachers and as long we insist on being the world's policemen, let's bring back the draft. The physical and mental damage that has been done and will continue to be done to our troops because of too many deployments is going to cost us TRILLION dollar(s) money. And where do we plan to get that money? I know. We won't have that discussion.

ENTERTAINMENT STUFF:

I have four films I'm going to tell you about, but before that, here's something else that to me, would be off the charts entertaining.

Close your eyes and imagine a televised debate between the two presidential nominees for the 2012 election or the 2016 election. And those two nominees ARE....

SARAH PALIN AND HILLARY CLINTON!!!

Can you imagine what the ratings for THAT debate would be?

Okay...Three films that are currently on the cable circuit and one new film.

2004 film that's currently on the HBO channels: "The Door in the Floor". It stars Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, and in an absolutely adorable performance, Elle Fanning. This is an adult film about a marriage that's in trouble because of complicated reasons. And one of the main characters makes things even more complicated. This film did quite well at the box office and if you are an HBO subscriber, I recommend this film.

2009 film that's currently on the Encore channels: "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt". It stars the very cute Amber Tamblyn, Jesse Metcalfe, Orlando Jones, Joel Moore and Michael Douglas. For those of you who watch cable, you know that when the title, etc. flashes on the screen, you also see the names of two of the main actors and you see one, two, three or four stars, with four being "best". This film is given no stars by Encore, and I couldn't disagree with them more. This is a film about someone who deliberately gets himself arrested so that he can end up proving that the District Attorney and favorite to be Louisiana's new Governor (played by Michael Douglas) is in fact a district attorney who has evidence "planted" to increase his conviction rate.

"Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" is a bona fide nail biter that has an "end twist" on top of an "end twist" and if you are an Encore subscriber, I highly recommend this film.

An early 2010 film that's currently on the STARZ channels: "Dear John". It stars Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins and some very good supporting players. This is about two young people who fall in love (Tatum and Seyfried), but things get complicated when he joins the military and then re-enlists. For those of us who've been in the military, we are all familiar with what a "Dear John" letter is (not good news) and now you know what the title of this film is referring to. This is another film that did well at the box office and now that I've seen it, I know why. You can't help but root for these two people and it ends with.... Hey, if you're a STARZ subscriber, I strongly recommend you finding out for yourself.

Here's the new film: "True Grit". As you probably know, "True Grit" stars Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. Two of them are Oscar winners and the third one, Brolin, has an Oscar nomination. But this film is stolen by a young actress named, Hailee Steinfeld.

And it's a good thing she does steal it because she's pretty much the only thing that's exceptional in this film until Josh Brolin shows up which isn't until the last ten or fifteen minutes of this film.

I was very disappointed in "True Grit". Bridges is okay, Damon is okay, Brolin, when he shows up, is "electric" and Hailee Steinfeld consistently does her thing. Which is talk a lot. And that's good. To a point. Jeff Bridges talks a lot. Too much. Matt Damon probably doesn't talk enough. But hey, these fine actors are working with what they were given and I walked out of the theatre thinking that "True Grit" needed some rewrites.

THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net and I will respond to you ASAP. Don't write to the blog because there's no way for me to know your email address which means I won't be able to respond to you. I respond to all emails sent to scottstjames@sbcglobal.net unless they are "Anonymous" emails. Those emails are ignored.

THE NEXT BLOG? As I stated at the beginning of this blog, due to an obligation that might tie me up for a month or so, I don't plan to write a new blog until Wednesday, January 26 or Wednesday, February 2. For a progress report, please check in to the blog every Thursday and when you see a new headline, you'll know I'm back at my computer.

IN CLOSING:

Thank you very much for your thoughts and comments this past year and if you go back with me further than that, I thank you again. Meanwhile, we need things to get better for all of us. 2010 was not a good year for anyone except the ultra-privileged. My sincerest hope is that 2011 will turn out to be the year we were waiting for and with that in mind, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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